By: Waterford City Childcare  05/12/2011
Keywords: School, primary school, Pre-school

Pre-school children in Ireland are defined as “children under 6 years of age, who are not attending a national school or equivalent”. Pre-school services include pre-schools, play groups, day nurseries, crèches, childminders and other similar services looking after more than 3 preschool children.

A list of the Childcare Services in WaterfordCity can be sourced by contacting the office or viewing the map attached here.

Description of Services

All Childcare Services in WaterfordCity fall within one of the following categories which are in keeping with national definitions of types of childcare services.

Sessional Services

 Services which offer a planned programme, 3.5 hours or less per session. Services covered by this definition may include pre-schools, playgroups, crèches, Montessori pre-schools, Naoinrai, notifiable childminders or similar services which generally cater for children in 0-6 age range.    

      Part-time Service

      Services which offer a planned programme between 3.5 and 5 hours. Services covered under this definition may include a sessional pre-school service for pre-school children not attending the part-time day care service. The service must provide the same physical environment including rest, play and sanitary facilities as for full day services.

Full Day Care Services

Day care services for pre-school children for more than 5 hours.   Services covered under this definition are those offering a structured full day service for children   which may include a part-time service and a sessional service also.

Drop–In Centres

Services provided in shopping centres, leisure centres, hotels etc. on a temporary basis. In drop-in services the children are cared for over a period of not more than two hours.


People who mind children for all or part of a day in the childminders home. Childminders who care for up to 5 children are legally required to notify their service to Health Service Executive, they receive an inspection from the Pre-school Services Officer.  Childminders who care for 3 children or less are invited to voluntarily notify their service to Waterford City Childcare Committee.  These Childminders receive an advisory visit to their home from the Childminding Advisory Officer of Waterford City Childcare Committee.

School Age Childcare Services 

School Age childcare services provide care on a sessional or part-time basis for school aged children outside the normal school hours.

According to the Pre-School Service Regulations Childcare (Amendment) Act 2007 childcare providers providing the above services up to age 6 years are required to notify in writing to the Health Services Executive (HSE) prior to opening a service.

However, please note that under this 2007 Act school age services and voluntary notified childminders are not yet required to notify the HSE.

I n WaterfordCity all of the above types of childcare services are on offer in either a private or community setting. They may fall under one of the following headings:

Community Childcare Services

i) Community services:

  Community Day Care facilities are run in the community by the community and on a   ‘not   for profit’ basis. They are managed by a voluntary management committee, and  are  usually housed in a  community owned centre. They generally provide a full range of services including full day care, part-time and sessional (some  include a school age service). Fees charged are usually on a sliding scale dependent on means of the families.

ii) Pre Schools in Nationals Schools:

  Pre Schools generally operate within the NationalSchool structure and usually  operate as feeder  classes into the school’s Junior Infants class.  These pre schools operate sessional services  in tandem  with the primary school year, and close for the same holidays over Christmas, Easter, and Summer  etc.

Private Childcare Services

 i) Private Full-Day Care services are generally run as individual businesses.  They may  provide a  part-time and sessional service as well as a full day service. Some offer a school age service. Fees  charged are generally at the discretion of the proprietor. `

 ii) Montessori Pre Schools

 Montessori Pre Schools are private pre schools who provide a sessional pre school service using the  Montessori method of learning. These services also operate in tandem with the general school  holidays.

iii) Drop in Crèche Facilities

  Drop in childcare services are generally provided by large shopping facilities, leisure centres and  similar establishments.  Fees may vary and the length of time the child can stay may also vary from   place to place.

iv) Childminders: see above

Information and contact details for all Childcare Services in WaterfordCity may be sourced from the office of WaterfordCity Childcare Committee at

4 B Manor Village

Cork Road


Telephone:  051 860 444



Preschool Officer,

Health Service Executive

Cork Road


Telephone:    051 842897

Keywords: childcare services, Childminders, Pre Schools, Pre-school, primary school, School,